Thursday, September 6, 2018

GALLERY: Lady Olynder, Mortarch of Grief

As soon as I saw the new Nighthaunt range I was blown away by the Lady Olynder model. The simplicity of the model makes it so elegant and a painter's dream with all of the surfaces for blending. I knew right away I needed her leading my army, and promptly added her into my painting schedule.

I painted her in a few subassemblies. I left her handmaidens off and pinned them to some pieces of cork glued to spare round bases. This way I could use the Citadel Painting Handle with them. I also left off the piece of vine that passes in front of her torso and wraps around her head. Luckily the join point for this is cleverly hidden by one of the flowers, so I didn't have to worry about gaps after painting. I primed this bit Black and the rest of her Corax White.

In essence, she's pretty similar to all of the other Nighthaunt stuff when it comes to painting, but there's actually some key differences. The first I ran into is how many large, flat areas she has. Her dress is essentially one large flat object, which means the initial wash is going to behave slightly differently. I diluted the Oxide mix a little more than normal with Lahmian Medium to make sure it didn't pool in weird spots. It would be easier to go back later and touch them up with more wash if I needed. I also did quite a bit of blending by going back and forth between the Oxide wash, my Ulthuan Grey/Oxide mix, and some Coelia Greenshade. It's hard to say how many layers there was because I kind of just adjusted in different areas as needed.

The other big difference was her hair. Up until know I had been doing any models that had hair by shading their hair with undiluted Coelia Greenshade followed by select Ulthuan Grey highlights. I tried that initially with her, but quickly found that her hair was too large and flat and the wash pooled and dried in weird ways. I needed to do something I had more control over, but still try and somewhat match the colors across the rest of my army. For Olynder's hair I basecoated it with a 50/50 mix of Incubi Darkness and Ulthuan Grey. This came pretty close to the color I was aiming for. I then shaded it with Nuln Oil, but only where there were recesses. To highlight it I mixed more Ulthuan into the basecoat mix and then did a final highlight with my Ulthuan/Oxide mix near the tips to tie it into the rest of the model.

By the time I got to painting her handmaidens, which I painted after I had finished all of Olynder herself, I realized my hair mix was actually pretty much an exact match for Nighthaunt Gloom. I used this to basecoat their hair instead. I had to do several layers to get a solid color since the technical paint is pretty thin, but this helped it flow into all of the recesses of the hair, and there are a lot on these models. I then painted them the same way as Olynder. Nighthaunt Gloom is really close to Thunderhawk Blue as well, so I used this color to do touch up after the shade and highlights since the thicker layer paint gave me more control. Lastly, I decided Olynder's hair was actually a touch more green, due to the Incubi Darkness, so I made a glaze of Incubi and applied it to the handmaiden's hair. This helped smooth out the highlights as well. I did touch up the last layer of highlights to brighten them up again.

When it came to painting the items carried by the handmaidens I kept the color pretty simple, mostly blacks and golds. This helped make them noticeable but not distracting. I had a lot of fun painting the glass on the hourglass. Since it was broken I couldn't paint it with something in it like I have with the other ones across the army. For colors I used a lot of the same colors I used on the hair, followed by a glaze of Incubi mixed with Hexwraith Flame. For the reflections I actually just looked at the studio model and tried to replicate the shapes and highlights they used. 

The only other details on Olynder I needed to do was the vine and the gold details. The gold is pretty straight forward, with nothing fancy. The black follows the same techniques I have used on past Nighthaunt models for that color. For the flowers I chose to do purple since that ties into Shyish, my basing, and the rest of my non-Nighthaunt Death models. One of the foundations of my Nighthaunt army is to keep it simple, which means as few extra colors as possible. You can pretty much break my color scheme down into the light ghost color, the dark ghost color, black, iron, gold, and spot colors of green and purple on select models. I really strived to keep this going, even on more important models like Olynder. The last thing I did was add a ghostly blend to the objects they were holding as well as the vine where it passes through her. The only thing that didn't get that blend is her crown to really make it stand out.

I'm really happy with how she turned out. She's such a nice model and the perfect leader for a Nighthaunt army. Sometimes I get a bit of miniature intimidation when it comes to painting centerpiece models and certain heroes. I'm always afraid I'll mess it up somehow and it won't live up to the standards I set for myself. Luckily everything worked out perfectly here and now the Mortarch of Grief is ready to lead my Nighthaunt procession in battle, including at the Michigan GT which is coming up at the start of October. I hope to finish 10 Bladegheists, and possibly Kurdoss, the Craven King, and/or a Dreadblade Harrow by then as well. I haven't 100% settled on my army list yet, and a lot of it will depend on what I get done in time.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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